Red Team/Cell Analysis

RedTeam/Cell Analysis

RedTeam/Cell Analysis

Al-Shabaabmilitias is an Islamic extremist group based in Somalia in theCoastal of the Indian ocean that has reigned terror in the largerhorn of Africa including Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea as well as inYemen. The terror group uses various techniques to coerce theirtargets mainly the Kenyan government. The guerilla tactics used bythe al-Shabaab militants are crude and aggressive and has taken thelives of several lives in the last two years in Kenya and Somali.Recently, the group carried a series of attacks on civilians in thenorth eastern part of Kenya, leaving many questions than on thegroup’s motives in the country.

Whatdata collection programs would be best utilized on the organizationyou selected?

Tocollect information from the group, it would be advisable to haverecruits in the group as spies. The group recruits youths fromSomali, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The governments involved canachieve information because the group is very secretive in itsoperations. The success of the group in Kenya has been achieved byits ability to collaborate with its sympathizers in the country. Assuch, the government can leverage on this relationship by lettingsome of its citizens particularly of Somali origin to be recruited inthe group to source information and plans by the group.

Anotherprogram that information on the organization can be achieved isthrough employing intelligence services. The group has a widepresence online, communicates regularly, which exposes them tohacking by intelligence (Dahl,2005).By employing technology savvy experts, it would be easy to trace theactivities of the group.

Whichmembers of the IC would be the best collectors of intelligence onthis particular organization?

Thethreat of terror is obviously a global problem. Despite Al-Shabaaboperating in the eastern African region, its effects are felt acrossthe world. The United States, United Kingdom and other Europeancountries have lost some of its citizens from the group’s attacksin Somalia, Kenya and Uganda.

Forthis reason, it is the responsibility of the world as a whole to stepin and fight this terror group. The best organization that shouldbear the mandate of collecting intelligence on Al-Shabaab is the CIA(Central Intelligence Agency). The UN has no body mandated tocollecting intelligence and relies on information from theintelligence provided by other agencies particularly the CIA. The CIAis a U.S government agency mandated with collecting intelligence andprovides this information to other law enforcement agencies such asthe FBI, The U.S Military to protect against any crimes perpetratedagainst its citizens (Dahl,2005).It has several stations around the world in its counterterrorismstrategy. The CIA can come in handy in collecting intelligenceregarding the Al-Shabaab, just as it has done with other terroristgroups such as Al-Qaeda and the ISIS. The agency has proved itsefficiency in its work, which makes it a credible body forintelligence gathering. The Killing of the dreaded Al-Qaeda leaderOsama bin Laden and former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein wasexecuted through the intelligence gathered by the CIA. Just recently,the agency was able to gather intelligence regarding Al-Shabaab andsucceeded in killing of its leader Ahmed Abdi Godane in a U.S ledairstrike.

Whatintelligence analysis strategies would be the most effective and why?

Thebest intelligence analysis technique that can be used in the case ofAl-Shabaab is the diagnostic methods. These methods are basicallyinterested in making analytical statements, assumptions, orintelligence gaps more clear. Several assumptions have been maderegarding Al-Shabaab terror group. One of these assumptions is theidea that, the group is linked to the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. Therehave been various statements that have been used to prove that thesetwo groups work together or are affiliates. In an article by CCN WireStaff (2012), the Al-Shabaab declared their affiliation to Al-Qaedain an audio clip posted online. There have also been other reportsthat the two groups are not affiliated. This kind of controversycalls for diagnostic intelligence analysis in order to bridge the gapin assumptions, statement and evidences. Working from a diagnosticpoint of view is important in identifying underlying assumptions suchas those held about the Shabaab. This is because, beliefs heldunconsciously to be true regarding a certain group are rarelyexamined and almost never questioned.

Inaddition, assumptions can undermine the efforts of dealing with aproblem.

Otherassumptions that have been taken regarding the group are its need tocontrol oil resources in Somalia and recently in Kenya. The group hasbeen carrying out executions of Christians in the North eastern partof the country to spur war between Christians and Muslims in thecountry, hence gain control of the oil resources. This assumptioncannot be overruled, but through diagnostic analysis can provideaccurate and sufficient truth regarding such statements (U.S.Government,2009).

Checkingfor underlying assumptions call for analysts to consider how theiranalysis relies on the legitimacy of certain premises which areroutinely not questioned or doubted. The process of analysis takesfor steps.

First,the existing analytic line on the issue must be reviewed by writingit down so that every member of the team can see. This is followed byarticulation of all the premises, that is, stated and unstated inrefined intelligence, that are believed to be true for thisparticular analytic line to be authentic. Thirdly, each assumption ischallenged, questioning why it must be true and whether it maintainsvalidity under all circumstances (U.S.Government,2009). Lastly the list of key assumptions is refined to retain onlythose that appear to be true to sustain the analytic line. It shouldbe considered under what situations or in what information theseassumptions might not be true (U.S.Government,2009).


TheAl-Shaba group as established remains a major threat to the worldpeace. Its operations have threatened not only the countries that ithas hit like Kenya, Yemen, Uganda and Ethiopia, but to theinternational community as a whole. The CIA is the best intelligenceorganization to help in gathering intelligence regarding this group.Information can be collected on Al-Shabaab include employing spies tobe recruited by the group from the neighboring Kenya, Uganda, Eritreaand Ethiopia high level technology to trace the group’s activitiesonline, and intelligence gathering. The assumption that this groupmay be working with Al-Qaeda, calls for intelligence analysis to usediagnostic approach which aims at exploring such assumptions andensuring that transparency is achieved in such assumptions.


CNNStaff Wire (2012), Al-Shabaab Joining al Qaeda, Monitor Group Says.CNN.Retrieved December 12, 2014)

Dahl,E. J. (2005), Warning of terror: Explaining the failure ofintelligence against terrorism. Journalof Strategic Studies,Vol.28No.1, pp.31-55.

U.S.Government.(2009), A tradecraft primer: Structured analytic techniques forimproving intelligence analysis. Retrieved from:ttps:// December 12, 2014)